There are hundreds of ways that pastors can earn extra money. But can a pastor earn extra money by using the skills they already have and use in their regular pastoral work? In a way that adds value to their ministry and doesn’t detract from it?
I believe the answer is absolutely yes!
Welcome to episode 4 of the More Than a Pastor Show. In this episode and next, I share 10 great ways for pastors to make extra money doing what they already do as a pastor. I’ll share 5 ways in this episode, and 5 more in the next.
Before we dive in…
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Download my FREE guide: “4 Keys to Success in Starting Your Business or Side Hustle.”
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Q & A with Rich Avery
In today’s Q & A segment I explain how my “face for radio” came in handy 30 years ago when I worked at one of the top Christian radio stations, 91.3 WCSG in Grand Rapids, and how it still serves me well today as the host of the More Than a Pastor Show.
In fact, I’m amazed at how our past is often the key to our future, and the skills we gained in other contexts can come to serve us well as we reimagine our calling and pursue the life, impact, and income we were made for.
If you’ve got a question for Rich, or a topic you’d like to see covered on the show, send your request to [email protected]. I’d love to answer your question on a future show.
In previous episodes of More Than a Pastor, I shared 7 Reasons Why Now is the Best Time for Pastors to Start Their Own Business or Side Hustle, and 8 Ways Pastors Can Earn Extra Income Quickly.
In our feature segment today, we’ll dive right into 5 ways pastors can earn extra money doing what they already do as a pastor.
Some of these may sound more interesting to you than others. And some may not interest you at all. That’s fine!
My goal here is to open up your thinking, and help you be more creative about the opportunities you may have right in front of you.
So, here’s part 1 of 10 ways pastors can earn extra money using their pastoral skills.
10 Ways Pastors Can Earn Extra Money Using Their Pastoral Skills, Pt. 1
1. Funeral Services
If you’ve been a pastor for any length of time, you know that dying is, unfortunately, a big – and expensive – business. Here are some ways for pastors to earn extra income while serving families through funerals or memorial services.
Funeral Officiating – Funeral parlors struggle at times to find pastors willing and able to officiate funeral services for people who don’t have a connection to a local church or pastor. If you enjoy caring for families in times like these, contact area funeral homes to offer your services for people who don’t have a church home. These are often great outreach opportunities, and ways to earn some good extra money.
Funeral Planning – When a loved one dies, family members are often caught off-guard, can easily become overwhelmed by all the options, and often unaware of ways they could save money when it comes to funeral expenses. Consider offering funeral planning services to help people discover all the options when it comes to burial, cremation, holding a funeral or memorial service, etc. You could offer public workshops a few times a year, or meet with families one-on-one, charging for your services.
Funeral Musician – If you are musically inclined – especially if you’re a worship pastor – you could earn extra money singing or playing music at funerals in your community. Funeral and memorial services happen mostly during the daytime hours, and it can sometimes be a challenge to find musicians who are available.
You can make the happy couple’s “Big Day” a nice payday for you, through these money making opportunities.
Wedding officiating – Position yourself up as a wedding officiant for couples in your community who aren’t connected to a church. Like funerals, weddings can be great outreach opportunities. Beyond officiating, you could offer other services to help make the wedding, and the marriage, all they can be, like…
Premarital Counseling – Some pastors don’t feel very comfortable or competent in doing premarital counseling with couples. If you love doing it, why not create a couple of premarital counseling packages you can offer to the community. You could host an all-day or 4-week workshop format for several couples at once, do private counseling with couples, or a combination of the two. Extra bonus if you and your spouse host the premarital counseling together!
Wedding Planning – Create a full wedding planning package which includes not just your officiating services, but all other aspects of the big day, including coordinating flowers, caterers, photographers and videographers, wedding and reception venues, and more. Develop relationships/networks with the other service providers listed above to share referrals.
Wedding Musician – If you are musically inclined, you can make extra money singing or playing at weddings. If you’re a songwriter, how about writing and performing customized wedding songs?
Every day we have opportunities as pastors to coach our staff, leaders, and volunteers to greater levels of faithfulness and effectiveness. The coaching skills we develop and use in the church can also be used to bless people – and earn extra money – outside the church.
Here are a few ways pastors could earn money as a coach:
Career Coaching – Helping people find the work they were meant to do
Life Coaching – Helping people get unstuck, discern the right path to take in life, and live to their full potential
Executive Coaching – Helping people, including other pastors, maximize their personal and organizational leadership
Health & Wellness Coaching – Helping people lose weight, get healthy, and navigate food addictions or allergies
I’ve been blessed to have had a couple of executive coaches work with me over the years to help me grow in my personal life and professional leadership.
Because of the results I’ve achieved through coaching I’ve received, coaching is one of my passion areas, and I love to share what I’ve learned with others to help them get unstuck and pursue their life’s biggest goals and dreams.
5. Spiritual Direction
If you are passionate about helping people develop spiritually and grow deeper in their relationship with God, consider becoming a spiritual director.
Spiritual direction is about helping people develop their inner life and discern God’s voice in their lives. It’s about listening to and experiencing God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in deeper ways. Through asking the right questions, listening, and discerning.
Two years ago I began meeting with a spiritual director. He’s actually a member of our church, who pursued direction as a calling after retirement. I didn’t fully know what to expect when I first began meeting with him, but I can tell you the relationship has exceeded my expectations!
The questions my director asks me always take me deeper in my understanding of who God is and who I am in him. He helps me get out of the “performance” zone when I feel I need to do more “for” God…and helps me stay in the relationship zone where I want to be more “with” God.
If you love spiritual formation, you may be especially well-suited to be a spiritual director. But know that spiritual direction isn’t about identifying problems and providing solutions for problems.
The goal is to help people go deeper with God, sit in the silence, listen to the invitations from the Holy Spirit and dwell on him…There’s a real skill to that.
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And until next time, remember that you are more than a pastor. Saying yes to God’s call doesn’t mean you HAVE to say yes to feeling stuck, broke, and unfulfilled. Let’s work together to create the life, impact, and income you were made for!